Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is back in the win column for the first time since 2019.
At Bellator 284, Macfarlane (11-2 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) defeated Bruna Ellen (6-3 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) in a women’s flyweight bout. The fight took place Friday on the main card at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Ahead of the bout, Macfarlane missed weight, which she apologized to Ellen for in social media posts shortly thereafter. Ellen accepted the bout despite a three-pound miss by Macfarlane.
The bout was competitive, technical, and calculated with both women having their moments. The fight began with some striking before Macfarlane went to her bread-and-butter grappling. She scored a takedown as the clock wound down. In Round 2, Macfarlane tried for another, with less success.
Round 3 was perhaps Ellen’s best round, as she threatened a guillotine choke for a long period of time. Her grip was tight and, as we came to learn, was catalyzed by Macfarlane’s fear of losing her fight shorts. In her post-fight interview, Macfarlane told “Big” John McCarthy she was not wearing any underwear and feared her shorts were going to come off during the sequence.
Regardless, Macfarlane broke the grasp of Ellen and with it landed on top.
🚨 Another CLOSE result 🚨
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) August 13, 2022
In the eyes of the judges, she did enough to win. Originally read as a split decision, promotion officials later clarified it was unanimous.
After the fight, Mcfarlane got emotional in the cage and explained how this fight rejuvenated her. She showed herself she still has a passion for the sport, despite recent interviews that indicated she won’t fight much longer.
The win was her first since 2019. She snapped a two-fight skid that included a title loss to Julianna Velasquez and a hometown upset by Justine Kish in Hawaii. It also marks her first win since 2020 knee surgery.
The up-to-the-minute Bellator 284 results include:
lima-Lei Macfarlane def. Bruna Ellen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Gokhan Saricam def. Said Sowma via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Marcos Breno def. Josh Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
DeAnna Bennett def. Justine Kish via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bailey Schoenfelder def. Mark Currier via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:35
Mitchell McKee def. Tony Ortega via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:28
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 284.